House of Wayward Spirits
June 28th-July 2nd, 2012 in Toronto
Welcome to the House of Wayward Spirits, where the work is rebellious, parodic, critical and immersive. Our house is full of Indigenous artists and collaborators that maintain a wayward spirit, (obstinate, contrary and changeable), in relation to culture, stereotypes and euro-centricity in art.
Thursday June 28, 7 pm, Toronto Free Gallery -1277 Bloor St W
The Contrary Collective Performance and Installation
Little Big Man Remix
Little Big Man Remix remakes the film Little Big Man into a video art piece with live performance in roughly five “acts”. Little Big Man Remix examines the idea of the “traitor” which is the premise of the film. How and when do we betray our brothers, ourselves, our history? What are the boundaries and when are they crossed? Can treachery ever be justified? Can it really be forgiven?
The Contrary Collective is an ad-hoc collective comprised of Terrance Houle, Ulysses Castellanos and Cathy Gordon. A Contrary was a member of a Native North American tribal group who adopted behavior that was deliberately the opposite of other tribal members. The Contraries are related, in part, to the clown organizations of the Plains Indians, as well as to Plains military societies that contained reverse warriors.
Friday June 29 – 10 pm – The Sister – 1554 Queen St W.
A James Luna Performance
Words, Solos, Bridges & Breaks
Combining stories of interest to a variety of musical styles Luna shares some thoughts both real and imagined.
Internationally renowned performance and installation artist James Luna (Puyukitchum/Luiseno) resides on the La Jolla Indian Reservation in North County San Diego, California. With over 30 years of exhibition and performance experience Luna has given voice to Native American cultural issues, pursued innovative and versatile media within his disciplines, and charted waters for other artists to follow. His powerful works transform gallery spaces into battlefields, where the audience is confronted with the nature of cultural identity, the tensions generated by cultural isolation, and the dangers of cultural misinterpretations, all from an Indigenous perspective. Since 1975, he has had over 41 solo exhibitions, participated in 85 group exhibitions. James Luna is one of the most dangerously innovative, in your face, boundary pushing performers of bluesy spoken word cool.
Special Guests: Nick Sherman and Arthur Renwick
Nick Sherman’s songs are characterized by an uneasy, yet always fluid transition between unabashed joy and sorrow. This tension between major and minor is rooted in Nick’s distant memories of his grandfather strumming a guitar in a cabin on the trapline or back at home in the community—the comfort of revisiting these moments are intertwined with the knowledge that they will never happen again. Hailing from Northwestern Ontario, Nick spent his childhood traveling between his birthplace of Sioux Lookout and the remote, First Nation community of Weagamow Lake and North Caribou Lake trapline. He draws inspiration equally from traditional hymns sung at northern funerals as he does from Tom Waits or William Elliott Whitmore.
Arthur Renwick, artist, musician, professor, is from the Haisla First Nation in Kitamaat BC and lives and works in Toronto, Ontario. He has been writing and performing music since 1988. When Arthur plays his metal slide on his Dobro guitar, his original songs evoke the old style blues of Robert Johnson blended with the old country of Hank Williams Sr. If you are into current musicians such as Steve Earle, Fred Eaglesmith, John Hiatt and Ben Harper, then you'll definitely like Arthur Renwick's music. Look out for his album release in 2012.
Saturday June 30 – 4 pm - Toronto Free Gallery
A Lori Blondeau Performance
OH KNOW CANADA
A brief Canadian Aboriginal history.
Lori Blondeau is a Cree/Saulteaux artist born in Regina, based in Saskatoon and California with roots in Gordon First Nation and Touchwood Hills, Saskatchewan. She is also the director/curator of TRIBE.
Blondeau's performance's, installations and photography probe and parody the stereotypes of the Indian Princess and the Squaw. Her persona's, like COSMOSQUAW and Belle Sauvage, uncover histories of Indigenous women. Her apprenticeship and collaborations with James Luna produced performances such as The Ballad of the Shameman and Betty Daybird. Her recent collaboration with Adrian Stimson in Putting the Wild Back Into the West is a campy overturning of 'wild west' iconography. Works like, Grace, Sisters and Are you my mother? tackle the terrain of violence, testimony, mourning, time and ethics.
Saturday June 30 @ 7pm -Queen’s Park in front of Queen Victoria Statue
An Adrian Stimson Performance
Buffalo Boy’s Coal Jubilee
Buffalo Boy’s tramps all over colonial wealth throwing coal about like the monarchy steals diamonds. A critical excessive gesture of celebration throws light on the unwanted penetrations of this land.
Adrian Stimson is a member of the Siksika (Blackfoot) Nation in southern Alberta. He is an interdisciplinary artist, curator and educator with a BFA with distinction from the Alberta College of Art & Design and MFA from the University of Saskatchewan. Recent exhibits and performances include Holding Our Breath, Neutral Ground, Regina, Beyond Redemption at the Mendel Art Gallery, Saskatoon, Photo Quai, Musee du quai branly and Unmasking at the Canadian Cultural Centre in Paris, France, “The Life and Times of Buffalo Boy”, The Works, Edmonton.
Sunday July 1 @ 2 pm - Venue to be determined
A Rebecca Belmore Performance
An Intervention on Canada Day
Combining, joining, and separating. A poetic collective action.
Rebecca Belmore was born in Upsala, Ontario and currently living in Vancouver. An internationally recognized performance and installation artist, Belmore’s multi-disciplinary work has addressed history, place and identity. She was Canada's official representative at the 2005 Venice Biennale. Her work has appeared in numerous exhibitions both nationally and internationally including two solo touring exhibitions, The Named and the Unnamed, Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery, Vancouver (2002); and 33 Pieces, Blackwood Gallery, University of Toronto at Mississauga (2001). Her group exhibitions include Houseguests, Art Gallery of Ontario (2001); Longing and Belonging: From the Faraway Nearby, SITE Santa Fe, Santa Fe, New Mexico (1995); Land, Spirit, Power, National Gallery of Canada (1992); and Creation or Death: We Will Win, at the Havana Biennial, Havana Cuba (1991).
Monday July 2 @ 3 pm – Toronto Free Gallery
An Archer Pechawis Performance
Our Beautiful Future
"Come see why our future is beautiful."
Archer Pechawis is a performance and new media artist, filmmaker, writer, curator and educator born in Alert Bay, BC in 1963. Since 1984 his particular interest has been in the intersection of Plains Cree culture and digital technology, merging "traditional" objects such as hand drums with video and audio sampling. His work has been exhibited across Canada, Paris France, and featured in publications such as Fuse Magazine and Canadian Theatre Review. Of Cree and European ancestry, he is a member of Mistawasis First Nation, Saskatchewan.